Dr Andy Markham is the Company Director of Hydrobiology.
I graduated from University of East Anglia in 1985 with a BSc Hons in Environmental Science. I then did a PhD at Queen Mary College London in Fluvial Geomorphology. My first job was as a consultant in London working in the field of Transport Informatics. I then worked as Senior Hydrologist for Ok Tedi Mining in Papua New Guinea between 1990 and 1995, after which I moved to Australia to work as a consultant as a Geomorphologist for a River Management company and then as an Environmental Scientist for a larger engineering/environmental consultancy, and then as a sole trader. I co-founded Hydrobiology (consultants) in 2001.
A PhD was quite beneficial and, in my case, has led to a successful commercial career away from research.
My duties as a Company Director include oversight and management of a company of 20 people in three International Offices. I am responsible for finance, HR, business development and company growth – this takes up approximately 60% of my time. I also have work duties as a consultant (geomorphology and hydrology) which involves leading and directing projects, providing critical review and high-level advice on environmental risk management for clients.
Alongside this, I am a Chartered Geographer Assessor for the RGS-IBG, a member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (CPEnv and Consultants Society Committee Member), and a committee member (Professional Accreditation) for the Australia and New Zealand Geomorphology Group.
Consulting is a challenging profession which requires technical expertise, the ability to deliver projects to client expectations, manage projects profitably, promote the business and also empower and motivate staff.
The most enjoyable project I worked on was baseline fieldwork at Frieda River in Papua New Guinea, due to the spectacular geographic environment. But we have a lot of interesting technical work too with projects this year in Brazil, Laos, Papua New Guinea and Singapore.
Retiring hopefully, and being in a position to mentor early career professional consultants, as well as being able to cherry-pick work on a part time basis.
Consulting is a rewarding but challenging career path requiring a range of skills. You have to be quite well organised, and be able to work and report efficiently.
There are good opportunities for a diverse range of projects and work experience but you have to be interested in the subject matter as it can involve long hours and fieldwork.
I would advise talking to other consultants before committing - but don’t be afraid to try it.
Job Title: Company Director
Location: Australia, Singapore and Papua New Guinea
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